Tag Archives: Ward Bucher

Moving Menokin’s Puzzle Pieces Into Place

By guest blogger Catherine Emery

PART I  Nothing brings a place alive like the work of many hands. Phase I of the Menokin Glass Project is underway as three interns dived deep into the Menokin stone databases to identify and locate cut and carved stone from the historic building.

Under the supervision of Encore Sustainable Design Architects Nakita Reed and Ward Bucher, the summer interns did a terrific job of updating files, re-tagging stones and finally moving them to giant, life-size print outs of the Menokin HABS drawings.

The students, Bethany Emenhiser, Sarah Rogers and Chris Cortner, came from around the U.S. and were attracted to Menokin’s innovative approach to preservation. But has the job been easy?

Only if you think moving 250 100-500 lb stones in 90 degree heat is light-weight work.

“It was fun to finally be able to move the stones to their proper places on the HABS drawings after spending weeks documenting and tagging them,” said Bethany Emenhiser, “but it was a long, hot day.”

Bringing in summer interns to help with preconstruction work was something of a no-brainer.The Menokin Foundation and its project partners were able to save essential funds and the interns gained valuable experience in the field, learned best practices for documentation and assessment of historic materials.

Though the preconstruction work has just begun, the progress is visible. Stop by Menokin and you’ll immediately see sorted stones atop the giant canvas drawings, a visual reminder that soon those same stones will be returned to the house.

Follow this link for PART II of this series.

“Intern”pretations – Summer 2015: Episode Two

For an overview of the work being undertaken by our summer interns, please refer to this earlier post.

View Episode One.

July 1 – July 3, 2015

Building Preservation Terms

Find out more about the Dictionary of Building Preservation.

Send your pictures to me to share with our viewers. lrennolds@menokin.org

Back Flap Hinge

back flap hinge(19c) A hinge attached to the back flap of an interior folding shutter that folds inside a casing, as beside a window.


Aaron’s Rod

aarons rodAn ornament consisting of a straight molding with a circular cross section that ends in leafy carving or scrollwork.




Dictionary of Building Preservation – by Ward Bucher

Dictionary of Building PreservationMenokin Glass Project team member Ward Bucher is also the editor of the Dictionary of Building Preservation – a reference book of more than 10,000 terms.

The book was the invention of necessity. As a preservation architect, Ward uses these terms regularly in his work. But burdened with a poor memory (high five on that one) he couldn’t always remember the term he was looking for.

Ward Bucher, preservation architect, in front of Menokin's front door paneling.
Ward Bucher, preservation architect, in front of Menokin’s front door paneling.

So he put together this fabulous reference guide and brought us a signed and dedicated copy today for our library. My hope is to share them with you on a regular basis so you can begin learning the terms along with me.

Find the first term on the Building Preservation Terms post. New terms will be added to the top of the page.

Have fun!



Queen Truss – Alice Talks About Architecture

Menokin’s Education Coordinator, Alice French, has prepared a video lesson about architecture. In this episode she talks about roof framing and the purpose for a queen truss.

Glass House Project team members Ward Bucher and Nakita Reed from Encore Sustainable Design helped Alice with the details of this lesson on their recent working visit to Menokin in February.


Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 9.31.44 AM

Who’s On Site? Winter Stabilization at Menokin.

Working in less than ideal conditions this week, these Menokin Project Team members have spent the last four days outside in the cold and wind (note the attractive head wear) to add some urgently needed bracing to the remaining walls of Menokin’s office dependency..

In addition, the metric survey of the entire structure, required by the architects and engineers on the project, is underway, as well as updating the evaluations on the conditions of the stone and the framing.

Meet the people who are doing the work and look for updates as the project continues.

John Fidler,
Preservation Architect
President, Preservation Technology, Inc.

  • Thirty six years experience as an architect specialising in the conservation of historic buildings and areas, ancient monuments and archaeological sites.
  • Currently working on condition assessments of and repairs to several National Historic Landmarks, buildings listed in the
    John Fidler
    John Fidler

    National Register of Historic Places, and on State and City registered landmarks across the USA including a ruined plantation house, iconic 20th century Modern masterpieces, replica Ming dynasty Chinese pavilions, museums and downtown skyscrapers.

  • Formerly a staff consultant and the corporate practice leader for preservation technology with Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., Now supporting SGH and its clients as necessary as a sub-consultant.
  • At English Heritage: with 60 staff and 25 consultants responsible for technical policy development, research, advice and standards, publications, training and outreach. Delivered EH’s Research Strategy, Conservation Principles, Estate Maintenance Standards and established the National Heritage Training Group. With others developed professional accreditation in building conservation and published the EH Research Transactions series and many award-winning books and technical papers. Project manager of the European Commission DGXII research project, Woodcare.
  • Repaired numerous ancient monuments including ruined abbeys and castles and parts of the World Heritage Sites at Stonehenge and Hadrian’s Wall. Established English Heritage’s emergency responses to fire disasters at York Minster, Hampton Court, Uppark and Windsor castle. Devised EH’s first Buildings-at-Risk strategy.
  • At the City of London Corporation: repaired the Roman City Walls and Baths. Safeguarded Wren’s St. Bennet’s Church and Barnard’s Castle ruins from adjacent development work.
  • Specialties:Expert of non-destructive diagnostics; cleaning and repair of terracotta; cleaning, conservation and repair of masonry including brick and stone work; mortars, plasters and renders.
  • Joint author of the New Orleans Charter reconciling the preventative maintenance and care of historic house museums and their collections.


Ward Bucher, ENCORE Sustainable Design

  • Registered architect with extensive experience in designing and
    Ward Bucher
    Ward Bucher

    developing spaces people love. Author of the Dictionary of Building Preservation.

    Specialties: Historic Preservation – Restoration, historic tax credits, Nat. Register nominations
    Sustainable buildings – Green, LEED, geothermal, low-flow, etc.
    Commercial base buildings – office architecture and retail architecture
    Nonprofit institutional – offices, gyms, cafeterias, shelters, classrooms, etc.
    Interiors – board rooms, offices, stores, lobbies, residential, historic
    Multifamily residential
    High-end custom homes


Patrick Handler, Oak Grove Restoration

  • During more than thirty-five years in business, Oak Grove
    Patrick Handler
    Patrick Handler

    Restoration Company has evolved from a high-quality woodworking shop into a full-service general contracting and consulting company specializing in historic preservation and the careful conservation of irreplaceable historic architectural fabric. Our diverse client base includes state and local governments, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Park Service, private homeowners, historic sites, and house museums.

  • Oak Grove Restoration Company possesses strong capabilities in design-build, general contracting, and construction management drawn from the individual backgrounds of our personnel and from their collective knowledge of historic structures and experience in building conservation. We also maintain a staff of skilled preservation carpenters and continue to operate our own traditional millshop, allowing us direct control over the repair and replication of historic millwork, windows, and doors. Utilizing this broad range of services, we work with each client to develop and implement projects that meet their particular budget, schedule, and other operational requirements. We pride ourselves on our long-term relationships with many clients and on our ability to work collaboratively and creatively with a wide variety of preservation professionals, trades, and property owners.


Bill Mowatt, The Downland Partnership

Bill Mowand
Bill Mowand

The Downland Partnership offers unrivaled experience, quality and value for money throughout a wide range of measured survey products. 

Their technologies include high definition laser-scanning, the latest in Leica total station technology and photogrammetry.

  • Precise dimensional survey since 1989
  • High resolution photography since 1990
  • Photogrammetry since 1995
  • Laser scanning since 2005

The Downland Partnership offers a wide range of products from simple site surveys to complex and detailed record surveys of historic buildings, intelligent BIM models and 3d spatial data of oil and gas installations. They also operate an experienced and successful resource carrying out surveys on the railways and undertaking high precision monitoring.


Concept and Planning Phase Continues at Menokin

Last week was a busy one for many of the consultants for The Menokin Project as well as the Menokin staff.


Cultural Consultants Darren Barker and Liza Rogers from Barker Langham arrived from London late Sunday and we all headed off bright and early Monday morning on a field trip of regional museums. Our goal was to observe the interpretation methods being practiced by other institutions as a way of helping Barker Langham hone plan’s for Menokin’s vision, programmes (Oops, I mean “programs.” Too much time with the Brits!) and business plan.

First stop was Kenmore in Historic Fredericksburg, VA. Built by George 165Washington’s sister Betty Washington Lewis and her husband, Fielding Lewis, this beautiful, Georgian-style, brick mansion reflects the pre-Revolutionary-War wealth and status of the Fredericksburg merchant.

Owned and operated by The George Washington Foundation, Kenmore has, over the years, transformed itself from a decorative arts museum to one that represents a more historically accurate, 2061775-1800 appearance. Most notable are the ornate plaster ceilings in the downstairs rooms.

Team member Ward Bucher of Bucher/Borges Group was also in attendance. Their firm is preparing a Historic Structures Report for Menokin that is not only identifying which elements in our collection of stone and structural timbers are available for inclusion in the restored Menokin structure, but also organizing and cataloging the massive amount of research and conservation information that has been performed and collected at Menokin over the years.

We were lucky enough to get access to Kenmore’s attic, where Ward gave a brief 218lesson on 18th-century roof framing, comparing Menokin’s system with Kenmore’s, the differences between which, as it turns out, maybe have accelerated the eventual collapse of Menokin’s roof.

The massive size of these timbers gives renewed respect for the craftsmen who hewed, lifted and joined them together. No small job. And no degrees in engineering!



Next stop was nearby Ferry Farm, also owned and operated by the George248 Washington Foundation. All that remains of Washington’s boyhood home is the footprint of the house. The foundation is in the process of re-establishing the the landscape around Ferry Farm, including building an interpretive reconstruction of Ferry Farm on top of the footprint.

The afternoon was spent at Stratford Hall, boyhood home of Frank Lee. Probably the most famous site in the Northern Neck, Stratford’s interpretation program is constantly changing to keep up with ongoing research and information about the 254Lees and the house as these are revealed. Part of the future vision for Stratford includes a new visitor center that will triple in size on the same site, to combine teaching and collection interpretation. Abby Newkirk, director of interpretation, led us on a detailed tour of the visitor’s center and the house, pointing out those parts of their exhibits that will change and why.

The day concluded with a trip to the grocery store for food and other sustenance to refresh for Tuesday’s activities.